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Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports teams are open to anyone with a permanent physical disability that limits participation in able-bodied sports.

Participants must be:

  • Physically impaired due to orthopedic or neurological medical conditions
  • In need of modification to participate in leisure and sports activities due to physical disability
  • Able to benefit from participation in group activities
  • Able to follow directions; be alert and oriented
  • Free of disruptive behavioral issues that would create a danger to self or others
  • Living in a non-institutional setting
  • Cognitively able to participate in the program at an appropriate developmental level
  • Evaluated by a team coordinator and coach prior to placement
  • Able to use upper extremities to independently push a sports chair or handcycle or to independently propel on the ice using sled hockey sticks. (Power chairs may be used in wheelchair tennis, based on coordinator and coach evaluation.)

 

Basketball

Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers
Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports offers this program for both recreational and competitive athletes with good upper extremity function. The Jr. Pacers have a Varsity A, a Varsity B and a Prep team, based on age and ability. Athletes get the opportunity to participate on a team, stay connected with basketball and remain active with other children their age.
Age: 7–18

Mary Free Bed Pacers (DI level)
The Adult Pacers program offers competitive wheelchair basketball for those who are at least 18 years old and have a physical disability. Players have the opportunity to participate on a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Division I basketball team. The level of play is fast paced and fun to watch. The team travels to competitions throughout the country.
Age: 18 and older

Mary Free Bed Rollin’ Drive (DIII Level)
We are registered as a DIII division team under the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
Age: 18 and older

Mary Free Bed Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team (Women’s Division)
This team is new and looking to grow in numbers!  This team is open to adult women.
Age: 18 and older

 

Home Tournaments:

Keep up the Pace – Jr. Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
An exciting annual tournament hosted by the Junior Pacers. The tournament welcomes both varsity and prep-level teams. Teams will travel from all over the United States to attend.
Dates: November (dates will be included in the Fall RecConnect)
Location: Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission

Mary Free Bed Invitational Adult Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
The annual Mary Free Bed Invitational is hosted by the adult wheelchair basketball teams. The tournament is for DI, DII, DIII and Women’s Divisions.
Dates: December (dates will be included in the Fall and Winter RecConnect)
Location: Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission

Cheerleading

The Mary Free Bed All Stars Adaptive Cheerleading team is a spirited group of young individuals with physical or cognitive impairments that prevent participation in able-bodied cheer. This team practices with a goal to cheer at both our Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports tournaments and games in the community.
Age: 10-18

Fencing

The Mary Free Bed West Michigan Marauders Wheelchair Fencing team is registered with the United States Fencing Association and competes with teams across the United States. This is a partner program between Mary Free Bed and the West Michigan Fencing Academy. Athletes compete in wheelchairs fixed to the floor, limiting movement of the chair. They rely on ducking, half-turns and leaning to dodge their competitor’s touches.
Age: 18 and older

Handcycling

The Mary Free Bed Handcycling Team is a great group of individuals who are dedicated to riding. The team gets together weekly to ride at Millennium Park. Races are available each season, including local and out-of-state options. This is an awesome way to gain camaraderie and support when training for races, or just enjoy riding in a group.
Age: 16 and older

Quad Rugby

Quad rugby is not for the faint of heart. It’s fast, highly aggressive and involves chair-to-chair contact.  The sport is as physical and extreme as conventional rugby. Members of the co-ed Grand Rapids Thunder quad rugby team used specialized equipment to engage in competitive play. This sport is only available for individuals with quadriplegia causing impairment in both lower and upper extremities. Athletes play with heavy-duty sport chairs on a basketball court.
Age: 16 and older

 

Thunderfest – Quad Ruby Tournament
Hosted by the Grand Rapids Thunder, this exciting annual tournament showcases our wheelchair quad rugby team, with opponents coming from all over the United States and Canada to participate. Expect rough and fast-paced play.
Dates: October (dates will be included in the Summer and Fall RecConnect)
Location: MSA Fieldhouse, 5435 28th St. SE., Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission

Sled Hockey

Grand Rapids Junior Sled Wings
The Grand Rapids Junior Sled Wings – a partnered program by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation — is ideal for competitive and recreational athletes who have lower-limb-affected disabilities. Participants practice weekly and compete in home and away games in and outside of Michigan.
Age: 7 and older

Grand Rapids Sled Wings
This adult program is ideal for competitive and recreational athletes who have lower-limb affected disabilities. Participants practice weekly and compete in home and away games in and outside of Michigan.
Age: 18 and older

 

Home Tournament:
Griffs Sled Hockey Classic
Hosted by the Grand Rapids Sled Wings, this two-day annual tournament showcases our talented adult and junior teams, with opponents traveling from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Colorado and Pennsylvania to compete.
Dates: March (dates will be included in the Winter RecConnect)
Location: Patterson Ice Arena, 2550 Patterson Ave., Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission

Softball

The Mary Free Bed Rollin’ Whitecaps Wheelchair Softball Team is registered under the National Wheelchair Softball Association. This sport is great for those who are looking to stay active in the summer. The Rollin’ Whitecaps each summer participate in the Wheelchair Softball World Series and other monthly tournaments. The team’s home base is the Mary Free Bed YMCA.
Age: 18 and older

 

Home Tournament:
Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Softball Tournament
This annual tournament is hosted by the West Michigan Rollin’ Whitecaps at the wheelchair softball field at the Mary Free Bed YMCA. Opponents travel from all over the United States to participate.
Date: June (dates will be included in the Spring and Summer RecConnect)
Location: Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission

Tennis

Tennis is a sport of a lifetime. Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports is proud to offer a tennis team for athletes with physical disabilities. A participant can choose how his or her relationship with the sport progresses, whether the goal is strength and functional gain, recreation, or competition.

Mary Free Bed Junior Wheelchair Tennis
Children and teens with physical disabilities are coached in basic tennis skills and competitive play. Juniors practice alongside the adult team to learn drills and mobility skills, join in cardio exercise, and participate in match play. Practices and games are on a standard tennis court — no special equipment or modifications to the court are necessary. This inclusive program provides practice and playing opportunities for children and teens who are full or part-time wheelchair users. Practices are held during the summer.
Age: 7-18 years old

Mary Free Bed Adult Wheelchair Tennis
Adults with physical disabilities are coached in basic tennis skills and competitive play. No prior knowledge or experience playing tennis is needed to participate in our Adult Wheelchair Tennis program. Practices and games are on a standard tennis court – no special equipment or modifications to the court are necessary. This inclusive program provides practice and playing opportunities for adults who are full or part-time wheelchair users. Practices are year-round and team participation includes travel to tournaments in the United States.
Age: 18 and older

 

Home Tournament:
Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championship
You’re invited to watch Mary Free Bed’s own adult wheelchair tennis team players compete in this highly-competitive, must-see hometown tournament, which is a part of USTA, NEC and ITF. More than 70 wheelchair tennis athletes travel from all over the world to compete.
Date: July (dates will be included in the Spring and Summer RecConnect)
Time: Matches vary from 9 am-6 pm throughout the weekend
Location: MVP Crahen, 115 Crahen Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Cost: Free admission